What to Look For In a Mentor

Updated: Jan 13

Many aspiring voice actors look for a mentor and that's a pretty good idea. The question is: when and why do you need one?


To help answer that, let's establish the difference between a teacher, a coach, and a mentor.


Teacher: a person who helps people to learn.

Coach: a person who gives instruction or guidance.

Mentor: an experienced and trusted adviser.


A teacher can teach a class about the basics of voiceover performance, a coach can help you develop you skills in a particular genre & maybe help you produce a demo, and a mentor can help you navigate the voiceover industry and answer specific questions during your journey.


Finding a mentor is a great idea once you get a handle on the basics of voiceover, have been coached up, and have produced a demo. A good mentor will help you figure out what NOT to do as much as what TO do. Avoiding pitfalls like signing with disreputable agents, avoiding overbidding or underbidding, and getting hosed by unfair usage rights are good examples of how a mentor can help you.


Most importantly, a good mentor can be the right combination of drill sergeant, cheerleader, professor, and therapist for you just like an effective coach. Sometimes you need gentle ass-kicking or fierce handholding, you know.


TIP OF THE WEEK


If you're looking for a mentor, I have three suggestions.


The first one is me! Duh.


I just set up a new Mentorship Program on the VO Strategist website. Here's what the program looks like:




Notice those tasty discounts for both 1-on-1 coaching and events I produce? Oh, and those discounts are good FOREVER, even after I'm no longer your mentor.


If you want to learn more, just drop me a line at tom@tomdheere.com or schedule a free 15-minute consult.


If I'm not right for you as a mentor, I happily suggest the World-Voices Organization (WoVO). One of the many benefits of membership is that you can get matched up with a mentor. Check them out!


If you want more advice about finding a good mentor, here's a blog entry written by the fabulous Karen Commins.


RESOURCES & RECOMMENDATIONS


Here is where I occasionally suggest stuff that may help your voiceover business. Some of these suggestions may include an Amazon Affiliate link. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. That means if you click on the link and purchase the item in question, I get a few cents at no extra cost to you.


Today's recommendation: books! I strongly recommend reading The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win your Inner Creative Battles by Stephen Pressfield. This is the only book that made me nauseous when I first read it! It hit home with me on so many levels. It makes clear all the things you do that keep you from moving forward both as an artist and a person. Read this book, it could change everything!


You can see more recommendations at my Studio Gear & Recommendations page.


NEWS AND NOTES


Here are most of the classes I'm teaching in the first quarter of 2022. Registration is open for most of them so you can sign up right now. More classes will be added soon so stay tuned...!